Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sean Miller beat his good friend Chris Mack to get Arizona back into the West Regional final.
Now it's time to exact some revenge.
T.J. McConnell had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Wildcats pulled away from Xavier 68-60 Thursday night to set up a rematch of last year's Elite Eight against Wisconsin.
The Badgers edged the Wildcats last year in a West Regional final OT thriller, 64-63, in Anaheim.
"Obviously it's a big game, to return to the Elite Eight and play the exact same opponent as we did last year and come up short," McConnell said. "We're gonna take it as any game as we would be playing anyone else."
Arizona, which trailed by four before creating some distance with a 15-4 run in the waning minutes, advanced to the Elite Eight for the third time in its last five seasons. The Wildcats, however, haven't reached the Final Four since 2001.
Miller coached Xavier the last time it reached the Elite Eight in 2008. He stayed in Cincinnati for five years until bolting for Tucson in 2009. His successor Mack was an assistant on Miller's staff.
"I'm proud to say that at one point I was associated with Xavier," Miller said.
Mack, meanwhile, has led the Musketeers to a trio of Sweet 16 appearances since taking over for Miller.
"I just told him to win it all," Mack said when he and Miller exchanged postgame handshakes.
McConnell netted 13 of his 17 points in the second half.
Kaleb Tarczewski posted 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Stanley Johnson added 12 points and six boards for the Wildcats, who have won 14 straight games.
Matt Stainbrook supplied 17 points and 10 rebounds for Xavier (23-14), which connected on just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc.
"We just missed some shots," Stainbrook said. "Sometimes it just doesn't go the way you want it."
Arizona shot just 40.7 percent (22-of-54) from the floor, but went 17-of-19 from the foul line, including a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe during the game-changing surge.
Jalen Reynolds staked the Musketeers to a 53-49 advantage with 7:25 left before the Wildcats finally seized control of the contest.
McConnell netted five points during the burst, which was capped on two Tarczewski free throws for a 64-57 Arizona lead with 1:58 to play.
The Wildcats' defense held the Musketeers without a basket for a 7:35 stretch while they pulled away.
Myles Davis nailed a 3-pointer to get Xavier back within four, but McConnell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each sunk a pair of free throws in the final 33 seconds to put the game out of reach.
Earlier, consecutive McConnell layups helped Arizona race out to a 6-0 cushion, but it never led by more than that for the duration of the opening half.
Xavier responded with a 14-7 swing as a Stainbrook layup gave it a 14-13 edge just prior to the midway point of the period.
The game was tied 28-28 at the break. The Musketeers were 0-of-7 from long distance in the first half, while Arizona didn't score in the final 3:47 of the frame.
Hollis-Jefferson suffered a left knee sprain in the first half, but returned to the game ... Xavier had a 34-18 points in the paint advantage ... Arizona shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from the field in the second half ... The Musketeers were 13-of-16 from the foul line.